Friday, 7 October 2005

I have really been enjoying my holiday and hence my absence. I haven't done anything much but what I have been doing has been well with my soul. But now the new term is looming and I am trying to work out how I am going to deal with it. I have been feeling rather luck lustre about teaching. But I have decided to keep at it for another year. I don't want to drag myself kicking and screming back to school and I would love to recapture the passion I has when I first started teaching.

I think I have lost a great deal of self confidence this year. I have felt unable to measure up to my own standards as a teacher and therefore I have felt a bit of a failure. Teaching is rather a conundrum really. If you do heaps of work it is often very exciting and enthusing, but you just can't keep working at that pace so eventually you crash. However, if you work in a way which is purely about self preservation there is very little satisfaction and in the last term I got into a rut of feeling that the job was too impossible and why would anyone bother so that I really felt like a victim of my job. So in order to try to solve this dilemma I think I have come up with a solution.

I am going to downsize my job. Middle management in teaching is a nightmare. Too much to do and not enough time so the plan is to go back to purely being a classroom teacher. I want to get back into creating interesting and challenging lessons for my students, having time to give good feedback and the energy to be creative and improve my teaching practise. I am hoping this down shift will reignite my passion for teaching. I also plan to just teach one subject rather than the two I teach at the moment so that I can focus on one thing and hopefully do it well.

This simplification of my work goes totally against the grain of where my teaching career was heading. I am very much a big picture person and I can always see improvements and changes which I think should be made across my whole school and become very frustrated when people don't seem to be able to make those changes. So I thought by moving into middle management I could be a part of those changes. Well I was mistaken. For some people I think it definitely works but it seems the further up the ranks I have moved there further I get from the students and the teaching, which is supposed to be what schools are about. I have very little patience with school concerns about PR and politics. I think schools should be places where the management serves the teachers so that they can do the best job they can in serving the needs of their students, unfortunately it usually goes the other way round.

So by returning to my classroom and the kids hopefully I will remember the reason I wanted to be a teacher in the first place and will be able to stop just surviving each day at work and instead be excited about being there and what I can offer.

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